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Comment: Isn't this obvious (Score 1) 157

It also features a built-in headphone amplifier, beamforming microphone, a multi-core Sound Core3D audio processor, and various proprietary audio technologies.

If you need that kind of stuff then, sure, it's probably a good investment.

I don't and, as a result, haven't bought soundcard since 1996. The ones that came with my various motherboards have been just fine.

Comment: Re:Reminds me of The Wonderful Burt Wonderstone (Score 4, Insightful) 88

by jd (#47413427) Attached to: The Billionaire Mathematician

Humans nearly died out entirely from hunger and thirst, it was visionaries that led them out of a dying region of Africa into Asia, by a route that appeared to defy reason to any non-visionary of the time.

Pre-humans nearly had their brains the size of a grapefruit and wired backwards. It was visionaries who developed fire, 2.5 million years ago, providing the much-needed nutrition that allowed us to avoid the same fate as every other lineage of hominid.

Visionaries allowed the Norse to split quartz in a way that permitted them to track the sun even in cloudy skies and well into twilight, giving them greater access to the seas, trade and food than any other society of that time.

Visionaries developed cities to handle the logistics of the brewing and baking industries, again counter to any "obvious" logic that farming and hunting were how you got food.

Visionaries are the reason you can post stuff on the Internet, and why persecuted minorities around the world can have a voice and education.

So don't tell a visionary that he is defying your common sense. His work may have implications for society that you cannot imagine simply because he has the imagination and you don't. That does not mean that it will have such an implication or that he does have that extra imagination. It simply means that visionaries have a track record of saving people from starvation.

What about normal people? Those are usually the ones who manufacture conditions suitable for mass starvation. They're the ones who create nothing but buy the rights to sue to oblivion those who do. They're the ones who have allowed security holes to develop in critical infrastructure, like nuclear power stations, and then place said infrastructure on the public Internet where anybody can play with it. They're the ones who deny Global Warming and have endangered all life on this planet.

At this point in history, we'd be better off if the normal people were rounded up, put on some nowhere continent, and left to rot at their own hands. This would also solve much of the operpopulation crisis, as they're also the ones that breed morons like rabbits. If they choose to become civilized, they're free to do so. That would be helpful, in fact. But as long as they remain normal (read: proto-human), their fate is their lookout but they've no business making it everyone else's fate too.

Comment: Popularity != Quality (Score 1) 192

by jd (#47390533) Attached to: IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

There should have been modifiers for typical bugs per kloc and security holes per kloc.

Also, there are many more layers to the industry. Scientific computing? Avionics? Publishing?

The subdivisions between languages are also a bit... strange. Java/Oak isn't truly uniform, whatever anyone claims. C and C++ have standards that aren't always backwards-compatible - if you ignore such changes, why bother listing C# or D as distinct? Lump the lot, together with B and BCPL under a single header.

My guess is that accurate representation of languages isn't possible (when does a dialect become a distinct language?) but that if it was, none of the so-called "big three" languages would be in the top 10. Computer languages are as bad as natural languages when it comes to classifiers.

Last, but by no means least, people rarely directly code any more. They code within engines, usually using some weird fringe language nobody has ever heard of that turns out to be Lua or Visual Basic with the keywords words renamed for the theme. Real programmers (as opposed to integer or complex programmers) tend to be in the minority, have become rarer after Qualcomm outlawed them, and are mostly in mourning for Freshmeat. But as a lot are Goths anyway, it's hard to tell.

Comment: Re:What's next (Score 1) 67

by Mr_Silver (#47388553) Attached to: Apple Hires Away TAG Heuer's VP of Global Sales

The laptops you mentioned aren't selling well because consumers are repelled by Windows 8, the design of most Windows laptops right now is dreadful, and Apple's marketing is ferocious.

Sales of computers running Windows have been in decline for may years now. In April, IDC reported that world-wide shipments of laptops and desktops fell 14% in the first quarter from a year earlier. That is the sharpest drop since IDC began tracking this data in 1994 and marks the fourth straight quarter of declines.

Even if all the issues you identified were resolved, I don't believe that it would reverse that trend.

Comment: Doesn't make much sense (Score 1) 669

One of Microsoft's main goals with Windows 9, the next major version of Windows, is to win over Windows 7 hold outs

If you're a true Windows 7 "hold out" then you won't be moving to a new operating system until that goes out of extended support in January 2020.

Working on one new update every two years, once extended support ends then it'll probably be Windows 11 that Microsoft will want those hold outs to move to, certainly not Windows 9.

Comment: Re:This is what a right is (Score 2) 128

by jd (#47296425) Attached to: Prisoners Freed After Cops Struggle With New Records Software

You are correct that nothing abridges that right. (I take the highly deviant and unpopular line that rights are inalienable, that that is why we don't just call them permissions.)

To say that it is an unmitigated good is, though, perhaps not a conclusion you can safely draw. It carries the implication that all contributing causes were also good, which is self-evidently false. The right is good. The requirement that things be properly documented is good. The staffing levels are bad (police officers should be providing the raw information, not reconstructing it to fit a specific system - have data entry specialists handle data entry). The system sounds very very bad - and unstable (who wants HAL running a criminal justice system?).

Releasing the individuals was correct, but correct for the bad reason that every level of the system failed.

That they couldn't manage in three days what police in Britain were once expected to do within 24 hours (now expanded to 48, as computer technology has been added, which seems kinda weird) shows that the wrong people are doing work that is wrong. If a manual system could do the job in one day, a computer-based one should be faster. Yes, there's more complex analysis to be done, but mass spectrometers can be thrown into the back of a van and give you results in minutes. DNA analysis for a tiny handful of markers (typically 12 for criminology, versus the 150 often needed for genealogy) can be done in an hour, tops. In-the-field DNA sequencers designed to look for specific information can also be thrown into said van.

Actually searching and finding things is the slowest part, but you shouldn't be looking for evidence to convict someone, you should be looking for evidence in order to determine who it is who should be convicted. In that case, search and lab time should only ever precede an arrest, which means everything that matters will already be known and in the computer.

In that case, the only new information is that surrounding the arrest and any supplemental information provided by the suspect. Confirming that supplemental data should not be relevant to the case, if the case warranted bringing the person in at that point. Even if it is, you're looking at three or four hours in parallel with the data entry. Raw data is raw data, that can be delivered live from a mobile lab or detective, so it's merely the time to get there, find the supplemental evidence and run the analysis.

With a modern setup, the time between initial arrest and completing the filing should never exceed 6 hours. Three days is stupid.

If six hours isn't enough time to do everything, do more (much, much more) beforehand and parallelize the shit out of everything after. If you don't have the money, find it. If necessary, reduce coverage until you can afford it, then demand taxes pay to cover everyone else correctly. If a couple of extra people get robbed or murdered, you've reduced false convictions by far more than that, so there's a net reduction in deprivation and death. You trade a negligible bit of extra crime in the streets for a massive reduction in crime by cops and/or in prisons. You get a miniscule dash of extra cynicism in the populace, but carve vast chunks of cynicism and contempt within the constabulary.

Seems an acceptable price to pay in order to have acceptable cops and acceptable standards.

Comment: Re:Any good shows with lots of episodes (Score 1) 139

by jd (#47296321) Attached to: I prefer to settle down at night with a good..

Start with the first ever Doctor Who. Make sure you take a break between episodes to get the cliffhanger effect. There's audios of all missing episodes. Include all of the Big Finish stories for the Eighth Doctor and the Pertwee Radio Episodes, plus the first three Stranger and Miss Brown for the missing season, plus the Auton trilogy, plus the PROBE series.

If you are still alive after all that, I suggest you follow that up with both Ivor the Engine series, Sapphire and Steel (TV and Big Finish), The Tomorrow People (ITV and Big Finish, plus maybe the latest reinvention of it, but not the Nickelodeon one) and The Avengers (British 1960s spy-fi).

Comment: The last option is a hoax (Score 1) 139

by jd (#47296307) Attached to: I prefer to settle down at night with a good..

To have a good Internet, you need early-spec IPv6 or TUBA, pipe-balanced network neutrality, and fully secured DNS and routing. And the complete elimination of Windows.

Books no longer exist, due to the prevalence of Kindle-style devices, so option 1 only applies to us geriatrics.

Good movies... there are two or three of those, I suppose.

Video game - Elite: Dangerous and Kerbal Space Program are brilliant but redirecting the display to something you can settle down with isn't easy.

Comment: The known effect is ok (Score 1) 195

by jd (#47296255) Attached to: Workplace Surveillance Becoming More Common

The unknown effect involves the mysterious overlords.

Seriously, they need to spy on employees to figure out that attention spans are finite, fatigue limits effectiveness and water cooler chat revitalizes the mind? Perhaps espionage will also help directors discover that sick leave reduces illness. It may be bloody obvious to even those of us who are borderline human, but apparently it will take hidden cameras and infrared imaging for senior management to figure it out.

This universe shipped by weight, not by volume. Some expansion of the contents may have occurred during shipment.